Small Bodies

PTYS FACULTY

William Boynton
William Boynton
Robert Brown
Robert Brown
Richard Greenberg
Richard Greenberg
Dante Lauretta
Dante Lauretta
Renu Malhotra
Renu Malhotra
Robert McMillan
Bob McMillan
Timothy Swindle
Timothy Swindle
Thomas Zega
Tom Zega

Additional personnel:

  • Eric Christensen, Associate Staff Scientist
  • Jason Corliss, Associate Staff Scientist
  • Carl Hergenrother, Associate Staff Scientist
  • Steve Larson, Senior Staff Scientist

LPL has long been a leader in research into the small bodies of the solar system. Active research includes:

  • Two world-renowned asteroid survey programs: Spacewatch, directed by Dr. Robert McMillan, claims a number of firsts in hunting for small bodies, many related to being the first to use CCD-scanning routinely; and Catalina Sky Survey, under the direction of Steve Larson, has led the world in asteroid discoveries each year since 2005. Dr. McMillan has also been part of the Near-Earth Object portion of the WISE spacecraft mission.

  • The first American asteroid sample-return mission. OSIRIS-REx, with Professor Dante Lauretta as the Principal Investigator, is scheduled for launch in 2016.

  • Several groups active in meteorite research, led by professors Lauretta, Tim Swindle, and Tom Zega.

  • Research into the orbital evolution of the Main Asteroid Belt and the Kuiper Belt in the groups of professors Richard Greenberg and Renu Malhotra.

  • LPL also has a long tradition of research into comets, which continues with research by Associate Professor Walter Harris and Professor Emeritus Uwe Fink.

Catalina Sky Survey
WEBSITE
Catalina Sky Survey

Spacewatch
WEBSITE
Spacewatch

OSIRIS-REx
WEBSITE
OSIRIS-REx